Romney says he speaks regularly with Gingrich, less so with Santorum

ADVERTISEMENT
During an interview with Fox News that aired Sunday, Gingrich admitted Romney was the favorite to take the nomination.

"I think you have to be realistic," Gingrich said. "Given the size of his organization, given the number of primaries he's won, he is far and away the most likely Republican nominee."

Romney also emphasized that he fully believed Gingrich would support his campaign against President Obama in the fall. The admission raised some eyebrows, especially among those who believe that Gingrich's continued presence in the race is fueled out of a personal animosity toward Romney over harsh campaign ads run in early primary states.

Yet Romney says he and Gingrich speak more regularly than he does with Rick Santorum, who has emerged as his primary challenger for the GOP nomination.

"We haven't had as much interaction, although at each contest's conclusion we speak with each other," Romney said. "I call him; he calls me; we exchange congratulations. And we've had a chance to chat from time to time, and we continue to have a personal respect for one another."

Still, Romney said that he felt Santorum would aid his eventual general-election campaign.

Romney made overtures to the Santorum family Monday with a decision to pull an attack ad in Pennsylvania after Santorum announced he would suspend his campaign to spend time with his recently hospitalized daughter, Isabella, 3, who suffers from the terminal genetic disorder Trisomy 18.

"We have done this out of deference to Sen. Santorum's decision to suspend his campaign for personal family reasons," said Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul.